Bicycle Wheel

Chain Wear

The two the most common
drivetrain problems are
'gear slip’ and ‘chain skip'

Gear slip is the chain slipping back and forth between two gears and typically happens when the shifter cable has stretched a little or the shifter needs to be cleaned.

Chain Skip is when your chain skips forward while pedaling under pressure. Sometimes this is caused by a stiff chainlink or a worn freehub body. The most common problem is a worn chain. Nothing lasts forever, and chains will ’stretch’ over time even if you keep them oiled. The pins and rollers slowly wear, and the distance from pin-to-pin will eventually increase to the point where damage begins to happen to your sprockets and chainrings. Replacing your chain before it starts to wear too badly, is easy and relatively inexpensive.

Check your chain
Move your deraileurs so that your chain is on the large front chainring and the smallest rear sprocket. Tug at the chain at the front of the chainring, if it's loose, get a ruler and measure 12 double-links. As a general rule if the rivet is less than 1/16″ past the 12" mark, you're probably ok. If it’s between 1/16″ and 1/8″ past the 12" mark, a new chain would probably be a good idea and hopefully, your sprockets should be ok. If it’s more than 1/8″ past the 12" mark, you’ll possibly need to replace both the chain and cassette, and, you should start inspecting the front chainrings for shark-tooths. Damaged chainrings will most likely show their wear 90 degrees from the crank arms.